June 26, 2022

The South Korean Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Hwang Hee has announced to officially propose “Culture Olympics” to the International Olympic Committee.

According to Hwang, he pitched the idea to IOC President Thomas Bach at the Beijing Olympics, and mentioned that an Olympics dedicated to culture would fit the goal of the sports event which brings the global communities together, whilst providing opportunities for athletes to have various exchanges, reduce differences and enhance harmony.

According to the minister, Bach had replied ‘principally ok’ to the idea, while having said that, he was concerned about the format of such an Olympics, given the difference with sports competitions where achievements are measured through scores and rankings.

Hwang added that the Cultural Olympics still being at a very early stage, can utilize a competition format or an expo/biennial-type non-competitive setup.

Hwang mentioned to work with former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has been the chair of the IOC Ethics Commission since 2017, and establish a working committee on Culture Olympics, while the ministry will make an official proposal to IOC in March.

Hwang last November had proposed a Culture Olympics when he met with French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot.

Hwang, who is a ruling Democratic Party legislator, was appointed as the culture minister just a year ago.

Hwang speaking at a press conference on the job Tuesday, also mentioned that the ministry has put in a lot of effort to help people in the culture, sports and tourism industries that have been hit hard due to the extended pandemic.